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Iewduh wins Busan award, Lorni in Tallinn competition: Khasi cinema flies high
Khasi-language film Iewduh (Market), directed by Shillong-based director Pradip Kurbah and produced by Shankar Lal Goenka, has won the prestigious Kim Ji-seok Award at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.
The award, initiated in 2017 in honor of BIFF’s co-founder who died of a heart attack during the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, was to Iewduh and Sarmad Sultan Khoosat’s Pakistani film Circus of Life.
The jury for the award was headed by legendary Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf. The other members were Malaysian director-actress Tan Chui Mui and Korean film critic Huh Moon-young.
The award is given to “discover and encourage Asian films” to two out of “approximately 10 world premieres” selected from those in the “A Window on Asian Cinema” section. Incidentally, among the nominees this year was another Indian film –Khanaur (Bitter Chestnut) by Gurvinder Singh.
The award comes days after Iewduh was selected for the Indian Panorama section of the 50th International Film Festival of India, as well as the International Film Festival of Kerala. It will have its India premiere at the 21st Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
Kurbah has earlier made acclaimed films like Onataah and Ri, putting Khasi cinema firmly on the Indian film map.
The film is an intimate look at people whose lives revolve around the Iewduh, the famous traditional market in the heart of Meghalaya’s capital Shillong.
This year, BIFF screened 299 films from 85 countries, including 118 world premieres.
Khasi film Lorni – The Flaneur in First Feature Competition of Estonia’s Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Khasi cinema’s upswing further continues with the selection of Wanphrang Diengdoh’s debut feature Lorni – The Flaneur in the First Feature Competition of the cutting-edge Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival of Estonia.
Starring acclaimed actor Adil Hussain, Lorni – The Flaneur has been described by the festival as the story of a struggling private investigator is finally given a chance to escape his everyday, humdrum existence when he comes across an unusual robbery.
“We are over the moon to be sharing 2019’s First Feature selection, which, for us, is an exciting combination of countries and topics, artistically rewarding and challenging at the same time,” the festival director Tiina Lokk told Cineeuropa in an interview. The festival will be held during November 15-December 1.
Diengdoh’s film, which was earlier screened at the Habitat Film Festival in Delhi, explores the Khasi identity through its protagonist who is a “Dkhar”, or a person of mixed parentage. The characters in the film speak in English, Khasi, and “Bazaar Hindi”, a unique form of Hindi spoken in Meghalaya and particularly Shillong.